Governors

To see the work that the governors do, please click here

CHAIR: Sally Dyson

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Parent Governor in March 2012 and in March 2016, became an Ordinary Governor.  I trained as a teacher of Human Movement Studies (PE) and History at Bedford College and taught at a school in Streatham, South London for 10 years, including as Head of Department for five years.  My husband and I moved to Kent after our daughter was born and she joined the School in 2011.

I wanted to become a governor because I believe every child should have the opportunity to benefit from a good education.  In order to do that schools need people who are willing to support and challenge them, to provide an environment where children are inspired, are set aspirational targets and are given as many opportunities as possible.

As Chair of Governors I spend a lot of time reading documents and attending meetings to ensure that I am up to date with education trends, policy and governance requirements.  However, when time allows I enjoy sewing and making silver jewellery. I also help out with my local museum shop and try to keep fit.

In addition to my role as Chair of the Governing Body, I serve on the Strategy and Steering, Curriculum and Staffing, and Finance and General Purposes Committees.  I also sit on the Development Steering Group and am the governor with responsibility for SEN and Safeguarding. I was Vice Chair of the Play Your Part Fundraising Campaign.

Terms of Office Ends: March 2020

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LAURA ACOSTA

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Staff Governor in October 2014. I read French and Spanish at University and then joined Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. I worked as Graduate Recruitment Manager for eight years before moving to become Head of Human Resources for the IT sector of the PA Consulting Group.

After a break from work to be a full-time mother I re-trained as a teacher of French and Spanish and joined TGS in September 2012. During the time raising my four children I also worked as a Piano and Singing teacher and was a Parent Governor at my children’s primary school and the secretary to the PTA.

I volunteered to become a Governor because I believe passionately in getting involved and helping to shape the future direction of TGS. I serve on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee. I am a qualified Mindfulness teacher through MiSP for children aged 11-18 and for adults in a school setting. I feel privileged to be working with TGS to continue to introduce Mindfulness to more students and adults.


PIPPA BLACKSTONE

In 2007 I was a volunteer board member and later the campaign manager of the capital fundraising Gift for Learning campaign for the Hands Building and major refurbishments to the old “school on the hilltop”.  I learnt about TGS and the exceptional educational experience it offers and I took great pleasure in bringing people together to achieve a major improvement to the School’s facilities.
 
After a professional career in business management including years with BDO LLP and part time roles elsewhere whilst my children were in primary education, and after 8 years to date on the staff of TGS, I can honestly say that working in Schools Development and Alumni is the most rewarding and challenging experience of my career to date.  It is more a lifestyle than a job! 
 
I am privileged in my engagement with a wide variety of networks and relationships that come together to enable TGS to deliver an educational experience that is broad and ‘holistic’, in an environment that is modern and relevant to the world our students will encounter beyond the school gates. 
 
I joined the governing body in September 2017 and sit on the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I hope to bring my skills to the table to shape the ongoing strategic direction of Tonbridge Grammar School.
 
I live near Lamberhurst in Kent. I have three children who were educated in maintained schools in Tonbridge. Now that they are forging their adult lives at university and beyond, my husband and I spend less time driving them to and fro and more time with our dogs, sailing, and in my case running.

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Mark Davis

I have lived in Hildenborough and Tonbridge all my life, currently in north Tonbridge where my wife and I have brought up two children who are now in their late teens.  After school at Judd, I qualified as a Solicitor, training at Warners in Tonbridge. Following a short spell in London, I returned to Warners and became a partner in 1989 and now head the commercial property team in Warners’ Sevenoaks office.

I am a Councillor on Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, representing the Cage Green ward. When time allows I enjoy long-distance walking, genealogy, watching cricket and I have a keen interest in history.

My family has a long association with TGS; my mother, sister and daughter all having attended and my father having been a Governor for 30 years.  I was appointed as a Community Governor in 2003 and since Academisation I have served as an Ordinary Governor. During this time I have been a member of a number of committees and played an active role in development projects.  I am Vice Chair of the Governing Body and I sit on the Strategy and Steering Committee and the Curriculum and Staffing Committee. I am the Governor with responsibility for monitoring school trips.

Terms of Office Ends: August 2020

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Dr. Annette Doherty, OBE

I have spent my career working as a scientist in the Research and Development of new medicines within the pharmaceutical industry. I am currently the Global Head of Product Development and Clinical Supply at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). I originally trained at Imperial College of Science and Technology and have worked in research groups in the USA, France and the UK.

I enjoy public service and have served on the boards of private, public, charity and educational institutions.  I was a member of the Pfizer UK Board (2003-2009), the Medical Research Council (2010-2014) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2011-2015). I am currently a board member of the Medical Research Council Technology Charity (MRCT) and of Queen Mary, University of London Council.

I am very interested in being actively involved in shaping the School’s strategic direction and in continuing to provide the best learning environment for all students now and in the future. My two daughters are at Tonbridge Grammar School and my son is at Tonbridge School.  I became a Parent Governor in September 2016. I am Vice Chair of the Curriculum and Staffing Committee.

Terms of Office Ends: September 2020


Stephen Holdcroft

I joined the TGS Governing Body in January 2014, served as Chair of the Curriculum Committee and am now a member of the Curriculum & Staffing Committee.  I have over 25 years’ experience of working in Higher Education and I currently work for the University of Kent as Head of Student Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing.

I have always been a strong advocate of the IB qualification with the fantastic opportunities it provides to all students, in particular those going onto University.  As a governor I am well placed to offer appropriate support to the School on issues affecting student progression to Higher Education.

Originally from North Staffordshire, I studied Economics at the University of East Anglia and Education Management at the University of Keele.  I live with my family in Hythe and my two children attend local Kent grammar schools. In my spare time I like to indulge my passion for football by taking my son to watch as many Norwich City games as possible – ever the optimist!

Terms of Office Ends: January 2018

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Geraldine Hughes

I have been a governor and member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee at TGS since 2008 and currently sit as a Co-opted Governor. Both of my daughters studied at TGS and my youngest is now in her final year.

I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Chemistry and trained as an accountant with Unilever plc. During my 13 years with the company I worked in a variety of financial roles including two years in the Internal Audit Department.

I currently work as the Diocesan Management Accountant for the Diocese of Rochester.  This role has given me experience of the financial reporting requirements specific to the ‘Not for Profit’ sector which has proved particularly useful since the School’s conversion to Academy status.  My previous financial experience also enables me to act as the Responsible Officer for TGS.

Terms of Office Ends: August 2018

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JULIE HUMPHRYeS

I am an architect and designer of hotels, restaurants, residences and resorts in the UK and internationally.  For the past two decades I have run Archer Humphryes Architects.  Previously, I worked at Virgin Atlantic designing luxury travel projects and Philippe Starck’s design company, YOO.

I grew up in Kent where I attended grammar school before going to Cambridge University.  I then lived in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London before returning to Kent. 

I enjoy participating in public service and volunteering and have spoken at events to support the World Monument Fund.  I have been an external critic at the Royal College of Art and contribute to publications related to my work. 

As a parent governor I would like to help shape education and creativity in learning.  I am interested in the opportunities for the study of non- core subjects, as I believe students have wider talents that can be harnessed for their future working lives.I sit on the Finance and General Purposes Committee and I am the governor with responsibility for Health and Safety.

Terms of Office Ends: February 2021

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Rosemary Joyce

I have been Head Teacher of Tonbridge Grammar School since April 2005.  

Having studied Religion and Philosophy along with History at the University of Stirling - where I developed a long standing intellectual interest in Eastern Philosophy - I completed a PGCE and a Masters in Education at the University of London, Institute of Education.  I began my teaching career in 1988 teaching Religious Studies, Philosophy and History at comprehensive and selective schools in Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire before becoming Deputy Head at Nonsuch High School for Girls, Cheam in 2000.

I am very proud of Tonbridge Grammar School and all who are part of our community.  It is a real privilege to serve such a wonderful school full of students inquisitive to learn and staff who are so passionate and committed to support our students to success.  I am particularly proud that alongside our academic reputation the School has strong core values and is committed to providing an enriching educational environment that develops character and supports them to make a strong contribution to the community through leadership and service.

I am Chair of Governors of the Two Bridges School, which offers a nurturing alternative learning environment to students who find it challenging to settle and progress in mainstream schools locally.  This role is important to me because I recognise the transformational role of education for all young people and the responsibility of all educational leaders to ensure the best educational provision possible for all students within our community.

Work keeps me pretty busy but aside from that I like to spend time with my children and pursuing my interests in modern art and gardening.

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Michael Joyner

I was elected as an Ordinary Governor in 2008 and am presently Vice-Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I also sit on the Admissions Group.

Married with three children I am now in my tenth year of association with TGS after two daughters have benefitted from being educated at the School. Beyond TGS, my family has other connections with Tonbridge as my wife runs a business in the town.

Following university my career has been based in the City, in the banking industry. Outside work my interests include golf, cricket, cycling and running.

Terms of Office Ends: November 2018

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Andrew Leale

I moved to Tonbridge to teach at Tonbridge School in 1993 and have continued to live and work in the area ever since. I currently teach Economics at Tonbridge School where I am also the Director of Admissions and Marketing and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. I have previously been head of an academic department and a pastoral leader, and I continue to coach sport. I strongly believe in the responsibility of a school to not only ensure excellent academic leadership for its students, but also to provide a broad based education and, crucially, a supportive and kind environment in which they can grow.

I was elected as a Parent Governor in December 2015 and I am Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I also sit on the Strategy and Steering Committee and the Admissions group.

I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.  My wife is also a teacher – of History – and I have two daughters studying at TGS.

Terms of Office Ends: December 2019

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Mark Lavenstein

I was elected to be a Parent Governor in February 2016.

My wife and I have lived in Tunbridge WeIls for over 20 years and we have had 2 children go through the Kent system. My son was at The Judd School and is now at university. My daughter has spent 7 years at TGS, is now in Year 13 and has benefitted from the excellent education given at the school.

I have a background in the oil industry, initially as a Chemical Engineer in the UK and US and more latterly as a Crude Oil Trader with a focus on West African oil markets. I have led business development and growth strategies in these roles and look forward to providing challenge and support to the school’s management team as they look to develop the strategic direction for TGS.

I am very interested in education at all stages and have a lay person’s appreciation of wider educational matters, partly informed by being married to a secondary school teacher for 23 years. I strongly believe in the transformative value of a good education on young people’s lives and the influence it bears upon the subsequent development of good citizens. I sit on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee.

Terms of Office Ends: February 2021

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Jose Luis Parody

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and have been involved with TGS since 2001, initially in a professional capacity as Project Manager for the development of the site and culminating in the construction of the Hands Building.

I have been an Ordinary Governor at the School since January 2011 and I am actively involved in the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I also chair the Building Development Steering Group, focused on driving the school’s development plans to fruition.

My interests are varied and include playing tennis and choral singing.

Terms of Office Ends: January 2019


Andrea Senior

I have more than 25 years international business experience in senior HR and training roles in a variety of blue chip companies, from technology to fashion. I am passionate about employee engagement and people development. I founded and now run a specialist Change Management and Human Resources Consultancy which helps businesses drive change and get the most for, and from, their people. I am an external coach to a number of senior business leaders and professionals.

I have a degree in teaching and taught Mathematics at secondary school in South Africa.

I have been an Ordinary Governor since March 2012, aI sit on the Curriculum and Staffing and the Strategy and Steering Committees.. I am married, with a daughter who attends TGS and a son who is at school in Cranbrook. I love travelling, cooking and reading, and am passionate about making a difference to our world. I am actively involved in charity work and lobbying for causes close to my heart. 

Terms of Office Ends: March 2020

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Julia Wheeler

I am a journalist by profession and have spent much of my career working for the BBC.  I was the BBC Gulf Correspondent based in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2010 covering news, business and sport for TV, radio and online.  During this time I also wrote a book, ‘Telling Tales,’ about the history of Dubai.  I am now a freelance writer, I chair events at Literature and Science Festivals and consult, using storytelling techniques to help corporate and government leaders become more effective and impactful in their roles.

I grew up in Canterbury where I attended Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar.  I am passionate about the ethos of schools inspiring life-long learning.  I read Economic and Social History at University before gaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

My husband and I have a daughter at TGS and our son is at The Judd School in Tonbridge.  I became a Parent Governor in October 2012 and have recently moved to being a Co-opted Governor.  I chair the Curriculum and Staffing Committee, serve on the Strategy and Steering Committee and was Chair of the ‘Play Your Part’ Fundraising Campaign which raised money for the IBarn and the Music and Art Departments.  I also sit on the Development Steering Group and the Admissions Group.

Terms of Office Ends: August 2018